FAMILY CAREGIVERS UNDER AGE 50
Younger caregivers have different challenges than older caregivers. They may have younger kids to manage and careers that are just beginning, rather than established. As baby boomers age, more and more millennials are becoming caregivers. Many are taking on this role while just getting started in their own lives, leading to difficult decisions about priorities. Proper planning can help them navigate this terrain. The term “sandwich generation” was coined to refer to baby boomers who were taking care of their parents while also having young children of their own. Now millennials are moving into the sandwich generation at a younger age than their parents did. .
More than 75 million baby boomers – those born between the years 1946 and 1964 – are planning their own retirement while balancing a full plate of family responsibilities. As boomers respond to the needs of their loved ones, they struggle with managing their own aging process. Boomer caregivers who juggle work, children and other responsibilities face an increased risk of chronic illness, decreased emotional health and well-being and substance abuse.
As more boomers become caregivers of aging parents, they must become more self-aware to avoid burnout and protect their own physical health and well-being. It’s easy to forget preventive care appointments when caring for others. To avoid burnout, caregivers must remember to get adequate sleep, nutrient-rich foods, water and exercise. The biggest key: Know when to ask for help and do it.
According to a study by the AARP, one in four family caregivers is part of the millennial generation (generally defined as being born between 1980 and 1996). And a study by Genworth found that the average age of caregivers in 2018 was 47, down from 53 in 2010. According to AARP, millennial caregivers spend an average of 21 hours a week taking care of their loved one, and more than half of those caregivers are required to perform difficult tasks, such as helping someone bathe or use the bathroom.